For Immediate Release
Meridian Woman Pleads Guilty under Project EJECT to Making False Statements to Federal Agents
Shortly After Defendant Purchased a Firearm, Convicted Drug Dealer Found in Possession of Weapon
Jackson, Miss. – Kadesha Dashanae Houston, 25, of Meridian, pled guilty today before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to making false statements to a federal officer during the course of a federal investigation, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Kurt Thielhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
On March 22, 2019, the Meridian Police Department began investigating a case involving a convicted felon in possession of several pounds of marijuana and multiple firearms. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Kadesha Dashanae Houston had purchased one of the firearms, a Romarm/Cugir, Draco Model, 7.62x39mm caliber AR style pistol.
ATF agents became involved in the investigation and interviewed Houston in an attempt to find out how a firearm she purchased ended up in the possession of a convicted drug dealer just fifteen days after she purchased it. Houston gave false statements regarding who she purchased the firearm for and why she bought it. When given a chance to retract her false statements in light of other evidence gathered by the ATF, she maintained her false story. It was later discovered that Houston was in a romantic relationship with the convicted felon drug dealer.
Houston was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 6, 2019. She will be sentenced by Chief Judge Jordan on August 20, 2020 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles W. Kirkham.
This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian. EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.